DepEd has funds
for teachers’ monthly internet allowance, ACT bares
ACT Press Release
June 11, 2020
QUEZON CITY – The
Alliance of Concerned Teachers (ACT) revealed that the Department of
Education (DepEd) has ‘more than enough’ budget to provide for the
group’s demand to provide the almost one million public school
teachers with P1,500 per month internet allowance. The group
estimates that the said stipend will only amount to P1.5 billion a
month and a total of P16.5 billion for the months of June 2020 to
“Internet connection is
basic and vital for DepEd’s work-from-home arrangements and distance
learning. Without it, teachers won’t be able to conduct meetings,
enroll learners, submit forms and reports, hold classes, and monitor
and assess students. Hence, DepEd must fund this necessity that now
plays key to its mandate to deliver education,” pressed ACT
Secretary General Raymond Basilio.
Basilio stressed that the
provision of sufficient technological and logistical support will be
decisive in enabling DepEd’s Basic Education-Learning Continuity
Plan (BE-LCP) and Oplan Balik Eskwela (OBE). ACT said that the
agency’s 2020 allocation for maintenance and other operating
expenses (MOOE) is P95 billion, with P30.6 billion going to school
operations. This means that the funding requirement for vital
internet allowance will only be 17.4% of DepEd’s total MOOE and 54%
of school operations budget.
“These figures prove that
the granting of an internet allowance is completely doable as DepEd
is sure to gain much from the savings in the utilities and supplies
expenditures of schools and offices since the lockdown and the whole
period when face-to-face reporting and classes will remain
prohibited,” argued Basilio.
Basilio hit DepEd for
‘magnifying the meager P3,500 per year teaching supplies allowance
to cover up its failure to provide for the necessities of distance
learning.’ He said that the amount could only cover up to two months
of internet expenses, while teachers are still beset with concerns
of laptops that need repair and upgrading, cellphone load to contact
students and other expenses for the development of their teaching
“DepEd is making it appear
like teachers are getting a new allowance when in fact it is an old
benefit that teachers gained through years of struggle and is now
sorely insufficient given the great financial demands of distance
learning on teachers,” explained Basilio.
Basilio further pointed to
other DepEd funds from where the internet allowance may be sourced.
“It will further save on
hefty training funds as only a P200–P300 cellphone load credits is
allowed for disbursement to teacher-participants in webinars while
the pre-pandemic allotment amounts to P1,500 per participant for
venue and food. Budget for officials’ travels abroad should also be
tapped as travel restrictions remain in place due to the pandemic.
DepEd may also use its generated income from revolving funds like
the service charges from private lending institutions that make use
of the agency’s APDS (Automatic Payroll Deduction System),” cited
ACT added revenue sources
at the school level such as penalties for lost DepEd-issued
materials, fees for venue rentals, income generating projects, and
donations from private stakeholders.
The teachers’ group echoed
to the agency the consistent call of DepEd officials to teachers:
‘find ways and means, be creative and resourceful.’ Educators and
learners deserve nothing less from the government, ACT concluded.